Mini- And Microsatellite Expansions: The Recombination Connection

EMBO Rep. 2000 Aug;1(2):122-6. doi: 10.1093/embo-reports/kvd031.


It is widely accepted that the large trinucleotide repeat expansions observed in many neurological diseases occur during replication. However, genetic recombination has emerged as a major source of instability for tandem repeats, including minisatellites, and recent studies raise the possibility that it may also be responsible for trinucleotide repeat expansions. We will review data connecting tandem repeat rearrangements and recombination in humans and in eukaryotic model organisms, and discuss the possible role of recombination in trinucleotide repeat expansions in human neurological disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / genetics*
  • DNA Repair
  • Gene Conversion
  • Humans
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Meiosis / physiology
  • Minisatellite Repeats
  • Models, Genetic
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics*
  • Tandem Repeat Sequences / genetics*
  • Trinucleotide Repeat Expansion*


  • DNA